Autopsy: 3 people died of smoke inhalation in May house fire in Barron

The autopsy also revealed the three deaths were accidental.
Barron Co., WI
Barron Co., WI(CBS 3 Duluth)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 2:10 PM CDT
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BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) - An autopsy confirmed that the three people who died in a house fire in Barron on May 12 died of smoke inhalation.

The Barron Police Department said that in addition, the deaths were accidental.

Barron Police Chief Joe Vierkandt said in May that 44-year-old Donald Albee, 6-year-old Conner Albee and 5-year-old Emily Albee were killed when their house caught on fire. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined by the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, but Vierkandt said he doesn’t expect anything suspicious.

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said that the Barron County 911 Center received a call of a house fire on River Avenue in Barron at 3:26 a.m. May 12. The caller reported three people still inside of the home. First responders were able to get the two children out of the home, and they were taken to Mayo Hospital. Despite life-saving measures, the children were pronounced dead at the hospital. Donald Albee, the children’s father, was later found dead in the house. 49-year-old Delores Dahlberg, Donald’s girlfriend and the owner of the house, was able to escape the fire and was treated and released at the scene, according to the release.

“It was the biggest fire I’ve seen in a long time as far as fire spread when I pulled up,” Mike Romsos, Barron-Maple Grove Fire Chief, said in May. “I live half of the city away and when I pulled out of my driveway, I could see the glow in the sky.”

“This was a tough one,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in May. “This was probably the first time in my career, and the first time in the fire chief’s career that we’ve seen firemen carrying children out of a house.”

The Barron School District provided counseling services in May for community members.

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